Someone asked me the other day, "What is wrong with florescent lights. i know I don't like them, but I don't know what is wrong with them. Here's an excerpt from Thirsting for a Raindrop where I give the short answer.
"The list of what is wrong with florescent lighting is long. I discovered it while in graduate school where I had a windowless internal office and only florescent lights. I was unable to retain information in that office. I would read a page and could not tell you what it said. I started taking notice of my preferred studying places. They all had incandescent or natural lighting. So I went to Index Medicus and did a search that resulted in a 4" thick print out indicating what is wrong with cool white florescent lights. One study indicated that 8 hours of exposure can inhibit the uptake of calcium. That means, even if you have the calcium in your body, it can’t use it. Concurrently osteoporosis has increased tremendously in our modern world. Could there be a connection? They also flicker at a rate that inhibits alpha brain rhythm, the optimal rhythm for learning. I almost had the library at WVU convinced to switch to Duratest Vita Lights (full sunlight spectrum minus the UV that causes cancer and no flicker) because they might enhance learning. They are also responsible for crows feet to a large extent! Because they lack so much of the color spectrum, they tend to be 4 times the optimal candle power causing squinting, hence crows feet! And the list goes on on at www.bodysoulandangels.com if you are interested."
There is another post here on florescent lights. They stimulate hyperactivity in some and sleep in others. A study in the Altanta area in the 70's reduced hyperactivity in children by replacing cool white florescent lights with full sunlight spectrum bulbs that do not have a flicker: Duratest Vita lights. You need 1/4 the number of bulbs, they cost more, but last four times longer. The only problem with them is if you leave them on too late, you may not want to go to sleep. Turn them off around sunset and use incandescent bulbs, which mimic firelight. Does anyone know about the spectrum and flicker in the new screw in types of florescent bulbs?